On Tuesday, December 03, 2013, when I stepped my 5-foot 10-inch body on the scale, I was only slightly surprised to see that my weight had crept up to 180.4 pounds, quite a jump from the 148 pounds I’d weighed years ago.
A mere 17 days later, however – by Friday, December 20, 2013 – the scale reflected 175.4 pounds, showing that I’d dropped a good five pounds already.
How did I lose the weight so fast? Especially in light of the fact that the recommended rate of safe weight loss is one to two pounds per week?
Well, here are a few tips that helped me, as I hope they help you:
#1 – Download the free “My Fitness Pal” app and use it to stick to your daily calorie limit
Looking back through my journals, one thing that always helped me lose weight fast was to determine my optimal daily calorie consumption limit and to stick to that number. For my specific height, gender and activity level, it means I should eat approximately 1,600 calories per day, with more calories added back for working out. (For example, if I burn 400 calories working out one day, I can eat 2,000 calories for the day and still lose weight.)
I love that app because it easily helps me log my food and exercise each day, along with my weight loss goals. Along the journey, when I close out every daily journal, it reminds me that if “every day were like today,” I’d weight 170 pounds in five weeks, or whatever the calculation becomes.
#2 – Make it easy by eating healthy fast foods and grabbing green smoothies
Okay, I know “healthy fast foods” might sound like an oxymoron, but let me explain. I made the decision to do what it took to get this weight off in a healthy way, so I began making green smoothies at home. I’m not much of a cook or a person who likes to play around creating dishes in the kitchen, so soon enough I was on the hunt for a place where I could grab a green smoothie for breakfast while I’m out and about, running errands.
Blessedly, I found a place called Robek’s near my house that has yummy smoothies that have kale, spinach, and various other fresh fruits and “boosts” like protein and fiber that tastes better than any smoothie I made at home. So hunt around for a place that delivers the same type of fresh or frozen fruit and veggies smoothies in your area – and try to drink them in place of your normal breakfast for one month. I see why people call them life changing. They are worth the investment in your health. (Make sure you get the ones with real fruit and veggies and not ones loaded down with too much sugar.)
Also, I often grab a southwest crispy chicken salad from McDonald’s or a cantina bowl from Taco Bell for lunch or dinner – some of their healthier fare. Having no time to cook needn’t be an excuse for gaining weight.
#3 – Make a decision and just give it 30 days…
One of the main things that assists us with deciding to turn around weight gain is to decide to stop walking the path you’re going and turning around onto a more productive path. I knew it was time for me to “turn it around” when I saw 180 pounds staring me in the face, and since it was the beginning of December, I told myself: Why not try this eating plan for one month?
I knew we had special plans for New Year’s Eve, so I thought a 30-day period would be the perfect time to start a new habit once more. Also, it’s a good way to trick ourselves into picking up a lifelong habit by saying we’ll at least see how we feel after 30 days. I’ll tell you what: I’ve fallen in love with the breakfast (and lunchtime, occasionally) smoothie routine, and how they’ve made me feel. They’ve helped to clear up my skin and still provide better mental energy, acuteness and sharpness. Plus, they’re just so darned convenient.
Tracking my calories through the My Fitness Pal website and app has been a boon, too, and well worth the time it takes to pop the numbers into my phone in order to ensure I’m staying close to my target calories for the day.
By year’s end, I’ll probably have dropped another five pounds or so since the last time I weighed myself, which is usually every Friday, in order to avoid weighing myself too often. And come March or April of the coming year, that 148-pound scale reading will no doubt be mine once more.